Shares of Flour Mills of Nigeria, the country’s biggest miller by market value, rose the most in 14 months as a stake sale to Lafarge Africa last year buoyed profit.
The shares jumped 10% to 19.88 naira (less than $1) at lunch on Wednesday, the biggest advance since December 3 2014. Net income for the nine months to December rose to 19 billion naira (about $95.3m) compared with 3.3 billion naira a year earlier, the company said.
Flour Mills’ profit “arose from exceptional income of about 24 billion naira from the stake sale,” which is a big leap in a period of economic downturn, said Efemena Esalomi, a consumer analyst at Vetiva Capital Management. Lafarge Africa in November agreed to purchase Flour Mills’ 30% holding in United Cement of Nigeria.
Africa’s biggest economy is facing a squeeze in consumption as the nation of more than 170 million people suffers from a slump in crude oil prices. The economy probably grew 3% last year, the slowest pace since 1999, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Flour Mills’ shares have declined 4.4% this year compared to a 17% retreat by the 179-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index.